So Amp posted another one of his link farms, and I cruised over by feh-muh-nist to check out her “You’re not fat!” post. (It’s really good; I remember Marilyn Wann writing similar things in Fat!So? about how she wasn’t Rubenesque or voluptuous or big-boned but FAT.)
And I encountered this post about “The Trans Issue.”
It links to “Questioning Transgender.” I have a morbid fascination with transphobia, so I read everything on Questioning Transgender and checked back for months before I realized that it was a blunt instrument, not a space for further discussion. Discussion was the last damn thing they wanted; check out the testimonials section. Or the article about how Brandon Teena’s male gender identity was nothing but a result of the sexual abuse he endured, but his exclusively woman-oriented sexuality couldn’t possibly have been affected by that at all.
Apparently, I am part of a cohesive political movement! It’s called “trans,” and is populated by “trans,” which is the plural of “tran,” which is Latin for “evil robot.” Its agenda–there’s just one–is “trans politics,” and it advocates for the removal and reification of gendered boundaries to serve the trans overlyrds. Sort of a gerrymandering of gender. Except eviller. It’s more powerful than the masons, and its influence is everywhere.
Fucking sweet! All of you cisgendered losers had better stop murdering us and firing us and evicting us and insulting us and humiliating us, or we might just have to get mean.
Does this insistence that “they’re all the same” seem familiar to anyone? Because I’ve noticed it in every instance of popular/outsider coverage of every minority community that’s ever existed. It’s bigotry in a nutshell: dismissive, dehumanizing, and above all reductive.
Here’s the money quote (okay, the one about how you can help a group of people while ignoring everything they have to say about their own oppression was pretty good, too):
We do not, however, share the political vision of those who espouse transgender politics. To the extent to which the transgender politics include the insistence that transgender individuals be served by human services designed by and for women, to the exclusion of women themselves, and the extent to which transgender politics question our ability to say that there are two socially created classes of human, male and female, and that there are social, economic, and power differentials between those two classes that amount to the oppression and domination of one over the other, we must stand opposed to trans politics. Additionally, we do not believe that the philosophical basis for transgender politics addresses the problem of male power or the significant problem of male violence across the world which includes violence against women as well as violence against transgender people.
Can you spot the assumptions? I’ll start. There’s such a thing as trans politics. Transwomen are not women, and they do not have equal stake in or need for public services designed for women. A reasoned understanding of a transsexual life and experience is wholly incompatible with understanding our society’s mediation of misogynist oppression and male privilege. Transsexuals themselves are incapable of tracking these broad differences or relating them to their lives and identities. There are no transsexual feminists, nor transsexual contributions to feminism, and none of the theories around transgender or transsexuality are informed by feminism. Transpeople have no stake in feminism. Feminism can only retain its power and clarity–its feminist politic, if you will–if it constructs itself in opposition to transpeople–excuse me, “transgender politics.”